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tv   [untitled]    March 1, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm PST

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interest reports and surveil cafes and clubs and surveil muslim patrons. i bring this up because the primarily -- decontrolling documents allows for this kind of activity to take place here in san francisco. this would it enabled the san francisco police department to spy on committee members, including through the use of informants and infiltrators. given how we have watched how these surveillance practices have played out in new york, it is important we don't allow this to happen in san francisco. the ordinance would not only require them to qualify with california law and that and discuss standards, but but it into place standards to prevent this -- prevent abuses from happening in the future. thank you very much. >> i know that agents
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provocateur have been involved in the republican national convention and in l.a., hopefully there is a strong community support -- are is going to ask about the racial and religious profiling and its chilling impact on communities. you mentioned ethnic mapping. could you talk about the chilling impact or more about the ethnic mapping going on? >> some other community members spoke about this eloquently. we hear from community members every day about how this impacts their daily lives and how they go about their work. we have read reports of -- you hear congregation leaders say because of the infiltration of the fbi agent asking questions, it seems really benign.
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it has had a chilling effect on our congregation. we have people coming to us saying we are afraid to enter the space we're supposed to come for prayer because we don't know if the person we are talking to is in fact an fbi agent. the mapping program is a similar situation. you have a certain communities with certain geographical areas with a concentration of ethnic communities and fbi agents are being sent into those communities. >> a good afternoon, supervisors, and thank you for addressing this piece of legislation. and the human rights
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commissioner from san francisco and this is the room where we held the first amendment hearing where we actually had to have the overflow room where we had to continuously, and make public comment for over three hours. it was one of the really unforgettable experiences that we had several years ago. i'm really happy to be here and join the community to speak on the experience and share some of the concerns about the domestic surveillance that had been happening and continues to happen as well as the joint hearing we did not so long ago with the police commission.
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i think this is a piece of common-sense legislation to get back some of the civilian oversight and add the transparency that is needed and to take away some of the fear the community has an ad back some of the trusts that have already deteriorated. because of the secret agreement that was mentioned earlier between the fbi and police department and we have had a
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history continue to repeat itself. the japanese internment, the mccarthy witch hunt era and now we have the post 9/11 era and the patriot act and recently you know the passage of the indefinite detention bill. these are all pointing to a lot of uncertainties for an anti- emigrant sentiment as well as people continue to feel there is a certain piece of paranoia planted on this soil like immigrants and sent the since like who feels they are being watched with or without process and for us, who are part of a government who believed in fed
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[tone] -- who believed in finding ways to protect the safety for all. it is our duty to make sure we put that into real practice. i hope we can put that into common-sense legislation such as this legislation. >> thank you. supervisor kim: thank you for working as the human rights commissioner. i am going to call five more names before the next speaker. [reading names] >> good afternoon. i'm the immigrant rights
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organizer and we work with latino emigrants and african- american folks in san francisco and oakland. our members and clients come to us because they have issues with housing or racial profiling and harassment by the police. we are here today to urge you and demand you take immediate action to protect the rights of all san francisco people -- -- we urge you to pass the policy today. you supported passing be resolution and we are happy that happened and we look forward and we are excited to see something like that can happen to minimize the profiling happening in this
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community and we are very happy to support our numbers and we are excited this is happening and we want to urge to san francisco has always done things you know breaking ground and protecting civil liberties of all people and so we are excited to have this in front of you today and we hope you vote for it and we hope we can support it as it moves forward. thank you. >> i am the immigration attorney at the arab resource center. i have a lot of contact with many members of the community that we work with. we receive all lot of complaints about the fears and apprehensions of members of our community because we have had members be investigated by the fbi and we have had members of
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the community who are asylum applicants and while they are applying for asylum, they are interrogated and it investigated for possible connections to certain groups. many times, the group's these people are seeking protection from. one of my best friends was recently approached by an fbi agent at his own home. he happens to be of lebanese descent and grew up in lebanon during the time of the war. the agent said he was red flag because they received information he grew up in lebanon at the time of the civil war may have knowledge and interest in manufacturing explosives. the agent had no evidence to is connected to any such activity and to comply because somebody was unfortunate enough to live in a war zone that they would
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develop an interest in making bombs is a totally absurd. another good friend of mine who has grown up in this country his entire life was approached by an fbi agent who asked him about what he thought about the current iranian government and how he felt about the current nuclear program. how this is related to any crime prevention is beyond me. the agent was interrogating this person about their political belief that this type of action does not provide safety or security to members of our community. what it does is it intimidates them and has a chilling effect, prohibiting them from engaging in political and other constitutionally protected activities. for this reason, we strongly urge the passage of this bill so that san francisco is not a party to this type of activity in san francisco. supervisor kim: thank you.
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>> i'm the policy activist at chinese policy action. we provide advocacy and service for the chinese and asian american and muslim communities. based on documents obtained by the aclu, we know the fbi it targeted the chinese-american community. these assessments were based on harmful, offensive, racial stereotypes that undercut the core values we stand for. by restoring oversight, we believe the ordnance can rebuild trust quickly eroding in the immigrant communities we serve. we hope san francisco can safeguard our civil rights and embrace rather than alienate the
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diverse communities in our city. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. >> i am a psychologist and i would like to discuss the psychological impact on the individual's. there is the denial phase and day experience hyper vigilance, increase reaction and intrusive repetitive thoughts. their feelings get disturbed and there behaviors, they have difficulty concentrating and emotional instability, sleep and dream disturbances. the physical symptoms are diarrhea, sweating, nausea. they experience a lot of difficult things. compulsive repetition and sometimes various forms of self a vacation like using a call or drugs. there is also a denial that they
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go through and a host of the start of mechanisms they encounter. there are a lot of difficulties they continue to experience, including fear. one of the persons who spoke about her personal experience talked about fear and she was crying. it is very difficult but emotional and psychological level with these people encounter. they experienced low self esteem and feel they are not good enough. they criticize themselves all lot and blame themselves a lot. the spiritual impact is they feel toward the of god's love and lose their relationship to god and feel rejected and it affects how they feel and how they function in school, work,
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social relationships -- they withdraw i think it is important to look at the emotional impact and a psychological impact people go through. thank you. supervisor kim: i am going to call five more names since we have one more speaker left. [reading names] >> hello, everybody. i am a citizen of oakland, california. i have my own business. i came to this city to have fun. i went to the restaurants.
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waiting for the waitress -- he took a longer to serve me. i was waiting in there was to customers eating and enjoying the food. somehow, they were asking me about the food because my background is from yemen. i was explaining to them what is the food and what is the bread and the vegetable and how they make the rice. after we finish the conversation, they ask me about where i work and where i live. i told them i lived in berkeley and i have my own business and they handed me a business card and so we could trade business cards. i'm trying to advertise for my own business, just contacting
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people to people. i saw their business card and they were the strongest agency and the united states of america. i was happy and proud of the work for the united states government. one of them was an fbi agent and one of them was in ice. i gave them my business card and they contacted me and i have many calls from them and they want to talk to me. they were coming to my business and they visited me. i talked to them and then shot as they are customers. after that, they keep introducing another local agency to my business and they keep coming until i was really suspicious of the activity.
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i don't have business from them and that is usually the way when you meet people. i contacted the agency and i was amazed with the way they contacted me and told me you have rights and you have things to do and i wasn't even in the mood to be apolitical person or stand today in this beautiful city. i just came to be in san francisco like i could enjoy it from the rest of my friends. they have different ethnic restaurants and i want to enjoy it and i end up to be in this position and today i close my business to come to this meeting. to look further to make san francisco save and make the people save and protect the of law of the united states and go
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back to see what is in the constitution to help people. thank you very much. >> good afternoon. thank you, supervisor and all of the staff. there are two main denominations of islam. just like roman catholics and protestants. after september 11, we opened our doors to the fbi and we invited them. i am the liaison for the outside world. we welcomed them, however, they started questioning me if i have been to iran nor any thing. i have nothing to do with iran. i have to get an attorney to make sure if they want to question me they have to go to a grand jury. -- to a grand jury. then they sent an informant.
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we have an anti-terrorist list -- you google my name and it comes up. it has been two years and we are not able to get the name off. on a personal note, my wife to gold -- my wife googled my name -- she had diarrhea last year and lost the job last year january that she had for six years and nine months. then she found a job in may last year and the manager who hired her left and the runs continue. she did not make the probation and her condition got worse. the doctor said had she lost
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four more pounds she would have been malnourished. we switched insurance and there was a deductible and a that is the impact and her life was saved and she is all right now. the informant was after our scholar who because he studied in iran went to see his mother in india and we got a reentry permit for him. at the airport, they revoked his visa and we had to use to homeland to get him back. so this thing continues. i have the congressional inquiry into it and the congressman says i have to contact the local fbi office here and the local office i was dealing with. i want to conclude that it has
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impacted everybody in our society. thank you very much. >> i wanted to say the daughter of the civil rights legend just brought up briefly that the japanese american internment and the interrogation of the community-based groups in the 1940's is so is directly connected to this. so many people from the japanese community talking about the leadership and their organizations being targeted by the pure connection of racial profiling. this is so important, how devastating that was to various other communities testifying today.
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it i really appreciate and understand more deeply how the chilling effect is impacting so many communities. this is having a very strong impact on me as a member of the board of supervisors. >> good afternoon. i will be reading test money sent in by the executive director of the bill of rights defence committee. i have abbreviated for the purposes of time. we want to note that yesterday japanese american citizens league were added to the list, so the list is growing of people who are sponsoring this ordinance. i will read from the testimony now. good morning. i lead the bill of rights defence committee supporting the grass-roots coalition to support constitutional rights and liberties increasingly undermined by the federal and state and local agencies. the city of san francisco would
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be well served to join communities around the country to limit large check -- largely unchecked activities by their police department. first and foremost, the board should approach a collaboration with the fbi with a healthy dose of skepticism. recent records reflect the fbi shares little respect for liberties. u.s. described the bureau 40 years ago as having conducted a long-running ad sophisticated vigilante operation aimed at preventing the exercise of first amorites of speech and association. in 2010, the fbi director appeared before the senate judiciary committee in response to questions about intelligence gathering activities. the director claimed the activities are limited by a suspicion of wrongdoing. soon after the hearing, the fbi submitted a letter saying the fbi failed to meet even this minimal standard.
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in this context, the board of supervisors and sitters this ordinance to reinforce an important local limit on the importance of the police department to collect intelligence on diverse san francisco. on the east coast, the new york city police department has endured widespread criticism for disregarding -- this same pattern of secrecy, surveillance, and accountability has long been the norm at the fbi. while the new york city council has disclaimed responsibility, the sport may not resign itself to wringing its hands in the face of systematic, ongoing civil rights abuses and able by a public agency under its jurisdiction. finally, communities from coast to coast are garish -- are grappling with these questions. in parliament, a recent decision to allow the fbi collaboration
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include important safeguards for civil-rights settle to the the board is considering to support. thank you for the opportunity to share our views. supervisor kim: thank you. >> rim the student vice- president for the national lawyers guild and i am a syrian american. san francisco's standards grow from a problematic history with intelligence and the national lawyers guild was one of the organization started by the mid- 90s. regardless of the assurances we hear from the fbi at the local and national level, it is clear the fbi does not share san francisco is standards. i'm not talking about national standards, and i'm also not talking about the training
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materials the aclu obtained through free above information act request including a power point investigation that law- enforcement communications used to train new recruits. this presentation contained comments such as no separation between church and state, transform countries cultures into seventh century arabian ways. it also says its characteristic of the arab mind to be persuaded by ideas rather than facts. my point is these are absolutely inappropriate stereotypes with the fbi creating ties to the community to be spreading. i am talking about things that have happened here in the bay area. in more documents obtained, asians -- agents are surveiling the muslim community. we have heard about people's personal experiences, but this has been confirmed.
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the fbi says there simply trying to build a relationship and increase community trust which will increase safety for all of us. while they are doing things like that, they are writing down names, birthdays, social security numbers and problematic comments such as this particular individual was progressive and looks quite western. this individual has these political beliefs. they're running background checks on people. this is not appropriate here in san francisco or anywhere. we need to take action to stop it. it is not just the muslim community that is affected by this. the chinese and russian communities have been treated the same way. the fbi conducted assessment of those communities and as we heard, those assessments -- those are the lowest level
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requirements in order to conduct those assessments. based on a gut feeling, they decided to affect entire communities that are an integral part of our city. i urge you to pass this ordinance and keep in mind that we are san francisco. we have our standards and we want to stick with them. we say this is the best way to keep our city safe. thank you. supervisor kim: i'm going to call five more speaker cards. [reading names] >> we are part of the san francisco immigration network. i work closely on a daily basis
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with immigrant communities. although most of the work i do is with latina emigrants, many experiences transcend nationalities and countries of origin. we all know how important our immigrant communities are and how much they give up to be part of these communities. the choice to emigrate to this country is not an easy one. we're not here to take a vacation. we are here out of necessity for survival and a better life. the things emigrants' give up to be a part of that are things most people can't even imagine. s our lands, our language, important parts of our cultures and customs. although it is painful to give these things up, we do so because of the promise of a better life.